Tuscan Kale and White Bean Soup
Published Jan 02, 2023•Updated Oct 12, 2023
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Rich and creamy without any cream, this one pot soup is cozy and full of hearty beans and pasta, healthy kale, and sun-dried tomatoes. Tuscan Kale and White Bean Soup is a complete meal all on its own but is great served with bread or a light salad on the side.
We’re deep in the cold months of soup season, and this tuscan white bean soup recipe is all the things – hearty soup, flavorful broth, lots of veggies, and includes tender pasta in every bite. I’ve been making a big pot of delicious soup early in the week and it makes lunches so cozy and easy.
It’s worth noting that choosing a pasta shape is half the fun here, but I’ll put in a plug for medium shells. The rich sun-dried tomato broth finds its way into the curves of the shells and gives them so much flavor. Best of all, this soup is easy as can be. Here’s how to make it!
How to Make It
This soup is incredibly simple. Get out a Dutch oven or soup pan and this cozy soup will be ready in a flash.
- Saute onion and garlic in oil. Get those aromatics cooking. You can use olive oil, but you’ll get so much more flavor if you use the oil from a jar of sun-dried tomatoes.
- Add flavoring and stock – Stir in Italian seasoning, salt, and tomato paste. Pour vegetable stock over top and bring it to a simmer.
- Cook the pasta – Add in the pasta and the sun-dried tomatoes. Let everything simmer together until the pasta is cooked to tender.
- Add kale and beans – In the last few minutes of the pasta cooking, add in the kale and beans so that the kale wilts and the beans are warm.
- Serve! Ladle into bowls and top with parmesan cheese if you’d like.
Use the Sun-Dried Tomato Oil
For extra flavor, this soup uses sun-dried tomatoes in oil. The oil in the jar is full of flavor and herbs, so use that to saute the aromatics. Then chop the sun-dried tomatoes and simmer them in the broth. The result is a rich, savory broth that is full of the flavor of sun-dried tomatoes.
- Sun-Dried Tomatoes – As mentioned above, make sure you grab a jar of sun-dried tomatoes in oil. You’ll use both the oil and the tomatoes to build flavor. Extra virgin olive oil can be used if you don’t have oil from sun-dried tomatoes.
- Onions, Garlic, Italian Seasoning, Tomato Paste – The keys to the flavor of the rich broth.
- Vegetable Stock – If you don’t need the soup to be vegetarian, chicken stock will work just fine here too.
- Dried Pasta – I love medium shells here, but any small pasta shape will work just fine.
- Cannellini Beans – Creamy white beans add substance and give the broth a creamy, rich texture. Any other canned white beans like great northern beans or garbanzo beans work just fine.
- Kale – Tuscan kale is hearty and has a nice rippled shape. But lacinto kale, curly kale, or any other type of kale will work just fine. Discard the tough stems and finely chop the leaves before adding them.
- Use another green – Want to try something other than kale? Try fresh spinach which will wilt quickly into the soup. Or skip the greens and add in chopped red peppers, diced carrots, or mushrooms.
- Add chicken – Stir some chopped rotisserie chicken into the finished soup.
- Add Italian sausage – Saute Italian sausage with the onions and garlic for added flavor and protein.
- Make it gluten-free – Use gluten-free pasta and this soup is completely gluten-free.
- Make it vegetarian / vegan – This soup is naturally vegan and vegetarian. Just be sure to skip the optional parmesan cheese at the end.
- Add parmesan rind – To build even more flavor in the broth, add a parmesan cheese rind to simmer in the soup. (I use this same trick for adding flavor to Instant Pot Pasta e Fagioli Soup.)
- Add heavy cream – For a heartier soup and additional creaminess, stir ½ cup of heavy cream or coconut milk into the soup at the end of cooking.
- Make it spicy – Add red pepper flakes or hot sauce for some heat.
To freeze: To freeze this soup, make the soup base as directed. Allow it to cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Freeze for up to 4 months. Defrost in the refrigerator completely before reheating on the stovetop or microwave. Wait to boil the pasta and add it to the soup just before serving.
Printable Freezer Label
Print and attach the label below so cooking instructions are ready when you are!
Store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to 6 months.
Yes! Just saute the aromatics in the bowl of an Instant Pot and then add the broth and pasta. Cook on high pressure using the time listed in my guide to Cooking Pasta in the Instant Pot.
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Tuscan Kale and White Bean Soup
- Dutch Oven or Saute Pan
- 2 tablespoons oil from a jar of sun-dried tomatoes (see note)
- 1 cup diced yellow or white onion
- 3 cloves garlic, grated or minced
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- 6 ounces dried pasta, like medium shells
- 1 15 ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves chopped (about 3 to 4 cups chopped)
- parmesan cheese and black pepper, for serving (optional)
- Heat a Dutch oven or saute pan over medium heat. Add the oil. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the onions are soft and nearly translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the Italian seasoning, salt, and tomato paste and stir a few more times.
- Pour the vegetable stock over the aromatics and cook until it begins to simmer. Add in the sun-dried tomatoes and dried pasta. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the dried pasta is tender (check the package for recommended cook time).
- In the last two minutes of cooking, add the beans and kale to the soup so that the kale wilts just as the pasta finishes cooking.
- Top the soup with parmesan cheese and black pepper if you’d like.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.